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With all the pains during pregnancy and the contractions during childbirth, most mothers are relieved to know that they are free from all that pain after delivery. But some of them, possibly including you, might continue to experience stomach pain after giving birth as well. These intense pains are generally a sign of your body getting to terms with coming back to a state prior to pregnancy, but it is important to understand these in detail.
Causes of Abdominal Pain after Delivery
Some of the common reasons why you would continue having stomach pain after delivery are,
1. Pain as a Result of Afterpains
Right after your delivery, the uterus has no child that needs support and starts reducing back to the size it was earlier. This leads to some cramping in the abdominal area, termed as afterpains. These are usually present for an initial couple of days right after birth, as the uterus takes nearly 6 weeks to return to originality. Breastfeeding is known to trigger these pains further. Mothers who are giving birth to their first child have lesser pain as compared to other mothers since their uterus still retains the muscle strength that latter mothers do not.
2. Pain as A Result of Constipation
Many women can suffer from constipation following their delivery. A barrage of bowel movements that are quite painful, straining to poop, and passing hard and dry stools without feeling totally empty, further contributes to this pain.
This is generally due to elevated levels of progesterone, the presence of piles, vaginal tears, or absence of any physical activity following labour. Certain medicines like anaesthetics, hydrocodone, and others can also set in constipation.This generally lasts for a short period of time, compared to that during pregnancy.
3. Pain as A Result of the Healing Process of the C-Section
A caesarean birth comes with its own share of pains, that are usually around the incision and the internal wounds, as they proceed with the healing process. Taking rest and lying down are the best ways to reduce the pain. Pain relievers suggested by the doctors can help alleviate it to an extent.
How Long does Stomach Pain Last After Childbirth?
The pains post delivery depends on the kind of delivery that the mother has had. If the delivery was a normal vaginal delivery, then most of the pain fades away within a couple of weeks following the delivery. The pressure on the pelvis might feel extreme and, along with the pain, might make you feel as if the uterus might tumble out. Rest assured that this will not happen.
In case you have had a caesarean delivery, the pains fade away in a couple of weeks too. However, certain pains or sensations might remain beyond that. Medical history of the mother plays a key role in this, such as the number of surgeries undergone previously, if the labour has been extremely lengthy if there have been any complications during the delivery and so on. Some amount of soreness might also feel like intense pain, so the fading away time is subjective and varies from person to person, based on their capability to sustain it.
Treatment for the Post Pregnancy Stomach Ache
Since the stomach ache that a woman has after her delivery is mostly the body coming to terms with the abrupt change in physiology, weight, and internal structure, it’s simply a matter of time for the pain to subside. Until then, the usual techniques of using well-known painkillers is the go-to method. Ibuprofen or paracetamol are the best bets to control such pain. Using a warm blanket that is heated or a warm water bag can help soothe the pain as well. Any medications should always be recommended by the doctor or taken only after their consultation. This is primarily because the newborn baby would be breastfeeding and anything the mother consumes passes on to the baby as well. Many women find relief by adopting various breathing and relaxation exercises, that are similar to those undertaken during the delivery.
Home Remedies for Postpartum Abdominal Pain
Here are some simple home remedies to relieve abdominal pain.
1. Fresh Mint Water
All the aches and pains in the abdominal region can affect the stomach as well. If you have a tendency to have disorders in the gastric or intestinal region, taking some peppermint might help you resolve the problem. The soothing abilities of mint can help relieve the pain as well as reduce chances of constipation. Boil mint leaves with water and add lemon juice to the strained mixture. Consuming this two times in a day helps reduce the abdominal pain.
2. Honey Juice
At times, infections in the womb can cause severe cramps as well. Combined with swelling in the abdomen, and bleeding through the vagina, should require consultation with the doctor. Until then, consuming honey is a good medicine to combat the infection, since it contains natural properties that combat bacterial, viral and is an antiseptic, too. Taking some honey with lukewarm water, and squeezing a lemon in it, helps soothe the stomach and works wonders when consumed first thing in the morning.
3. Lime Juice
A mother’s body is at its weakest post delivery. The immune system is just getting back to building itself and the digestive system is coming to terms with all the changes, too. Improving the overall health is key to reducing pains and bringing back normalcy. In such a case, increasing the amount of vitamin C in your body acts as a boost to help repair all systems. Taking some lemon juice with boiled water not only reduces stomach ache but also provides you with the minerals necessary for recovery.
4. A Warm Water Bath
As the pain generally resides around the uterus and abdomen, warm compresses in the area are known to help. What helps, even more, is taking a nice relaxing bath in a tub filled with warm water. Don’t make it too scalding hot. Keep yourself immersed for half an hour or so twice a day, and enjoy the relief that accompanies it.
5. Turmeric Milk
Chances of infection post delivery of the child are at an all-time high, given the weak immune system of the mother. Such infections may also result in stomach aches and it is necessary to combat and prevent them altogether. Using boosters to increase immunity is necessary, and there’s nothing better than a natural antibiotic for the job, called as turmeric. Taking a spoon of turmeric powder with a glass of milk protects the body from infections, as well as prevents building up of the pain.
6. Fennel Seeds
Post delivery, certain mothers might observe some inflammation and pain in the areas around the hips since most of the physical change happens there. Opting for natural remedies such as fennel seeds helps reduce the inflammations, due to its inherent properties of an analgesic. Many prefer chewing on the seeds to prevent vomiting and nausea after pregnancy. Boiling fennel seeds with water and adding honey to the strained mixture, forms a tea that can help reduce the pain substantially, when consumed two times in a day.
7. Ginger Tea
Abdominal pain and ginger tea seem to be the most natural combination of a problem and a remedy. Ayurvedic medicines make use of ginger in almost all remedies that treat stomach related disorders. Not only does ginger help by being an antiseptic, it is known to improve the emotional stability of a person and reset the mood to a cheerful one. Grating some ginger in boiling water, and letting it simmer with a few leaves of parsley, forms what is known as the medicinal ginger tea. Best enjoyed with some honey, this not only tastes great but takes care of stomach cramps by reducing the pain suffered from them.
8. Rice Water
Once you’re done cooking rice, the water that remains is extremely beneficial to treat stomach problems. What it does is create a smooth cover on the inner layers of the stomach that reduce stomach pain quite a lot. It further improves digestion in the mother and reduces constipation as well as the presence of blood in urine. It’s best to add more water than needed while cooking rice so that you have enough to consume.
9. Hot Water Bag
After the delivery, the muscles in the abdominal area undergo a lot of cramping due to the expansion and contraction that they face. Your belly might be extremely sensitive and the lower area might hurt a lot. This is where using warm compresses or making use of a hot water bag relieves a lot of pain. It improves the blood circulation in the area, which also allows the uterus to loosen up a bit. Wrap the bag in a cloth and hold it over the area every time you feel a sharp pain. Gradually the intensity will reduce.
When do You Need to Visit A Doctor?
- The area around the incision of the c-section begins to turn red
- There is fever and the pain gets even more severe
- The bleeding from vagina increases and blood is bright red in colour
- Both your sides feel extremely tender
- Nausea and vomiting begin and get severe
Most women who face lower abdominal pain after delivery manage to keep a strong face throughout by taking the right precautions. It is important to know that the pains are generally short-lived and fade away in a couple of weeks, as your body returns to normalcy.